6 Madison schools test positive for lead in drinking water

6 Madison schools test positive for lead in drinking water

Madison School District officials say drinking fountains at six schools have lead levels higher than the national standard.

District facilities manager Chad Wiese tells the Wisconsin State Journal the district tested drinking fountains at East High School, Blackhawk and Sherman Middle schools, and Gompers, Lapham and Lowell Elementary schools. All of the schools had at least one fountain with lead levels higher than the national standard of 15 parts per billion.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say there’s no safe blood lead level for children. Even small amounts in the bloodstream can cause slowed growth and irreversible brain damage.

Wiese says the district began testing drinking fountains’ lead levels after receiving questions from staff and parents. He says lead testing isn’t mandatory.

As News 3 reported earlier this month, the district voluntarily tested the water in drinking fountains of schools last month and discovered higher-than-acceptable levels of lead in 14 of the 156 fixtures . At Lapham, which was built nearly 90 years ago, three fountains tested above the 15 ppb. One fountain, identified as “corridor 141” had a test result of 69.7.

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